What is birth order?• The order in which children are born into a family has an influence on the development of the children.• The stages of the family life cycle are based on the age of the OLDEST CHILD because everything the firstborn does is new to the parents.
Exceptions …• Age gap of more than three years cancels out birth order effects. For example, a family with two children born five years apart may feel like they have two “first borns” in some ways.• Twins are born with virtually no age gap. Their birth order may or may not follow their literal order of birth. It can make some difference on how much the parents emphasize who is the oldest and the youngest. Usually, the twins will establish some sort of order based on their individual personalities. They may even share characteristics of two roles depending on how many children there are in the family.
Birth Order• First borns- go to Table 1• Middle children- go to table 3• Last borns- go to table 6• Only children- go to table 8
When you are at your table …• Create a list:• 5 characteristics of your birth order• 5 advantages to being in your birth order place• 5 disadvantages to being in your birth order place
Oldest Child/First Borns• Usually set up as an example to the other children.• Treated more like an adult by his/her parents.• A high achiever.• Given and accepts more responsibility than the other children.• Usually college-bound.• Independent.• Affectionate.
Middle child• May work extra-hard to get recognition.• Is usually a peacemaker.• Is somewhat average in schoolwork, but is an all-around good student.• Is usually a calm, even-tempered adult
Last Born/Youngest Children• Gets a lot of attention, along with a lot of bossing.• May be spoiled.• May be undisciplined and irresponsible.• Is easy-going about school.• Likes to associate with someone who takes charge of situations.
Only Children• Held to high expectations• “adultized”• High self esteem• feel socially self-conscious• values privacy• Sensitive to disapproval
Effects of birth order on marriage• Oldest marrying a youngest- the youngest is used to being taken care of and the oldest lies taking care of other• Two youngest- will have lots of fun together, but may resent each other later because no one is taking care of each other• Two oldest- admire and respect each other because of the traits they possess. May have problems trying to agree on things.